PSL Absa Premiership: Free State Stars vs Mamelodi Sundowns
Posted: 7 February 2016 Time: 14:42
Mamelodi Sundowns opened up a six-point lead at the Absa Premiership summit with a 5-2 defeat of Free State Stars on Sunday afternoon.
Danny Venter scored early on for Stars, but Sundowns hit back with interest via goals from Wayne Arendse, Keagan Dolly, Leonardo Castro, Khama Billiat and Mogakalodi Ngele. Katlego Mashego then reduced the deficit in stoppage time at James Motlatsi Stadium.
The Brazilians, who have 42 points from 18 games, are now unbeaten in 14 consecutive league games.
As early the first minute, the hosts found the back of the net when Mrisho Ngasa dispossessed Hlompho Kekana before laying the ball for Venter, who unleashed a powerful shot to beat Wayne Sandilands at his left post.
Although Pitso Mosimane’s men found it difficult to break down the solid defence of Ea Lla Koto, after 10 minutes, a quick free-kick by the Brazilians found Billiat who nearly equalised by making a run into the box but his shot lacked power and Daouda Diakite collected easily.
The hosts tried to double their lead after the water break towards the 25th minute but a powerful header by S’thembiso Ngcobo went wide after beating two Downs central defenders, Thabo Nthethe and Arendse.
After 30 minutes into the match, both sides fought hard for the ball in the middle of the park with the Brazilians receiving a number of corner kicks, however, they failed to use them.
Yet, in the 41st minute, Arendse made it 1-1 for the Tshwane log leaders when he finished a rebound after a short corner on the left which was delivered by Tebogo Langerman.
It was 1-1 at half time and three minutes into the second half, Sandilands came out to stop Ngcobo’s attack after a wonderful through ball from Venter.
Three minutes to the hour-mark, Dolly made it two for the visitors when Asavela Mbekile made a fantastic run down the right before making a pass to the oncoming Dolly on the d-line, who slotted home at the far post.
As they kept looking for more goals, a cross from Langerman allowed Castro to beat his marker in the box and Diakite with his second touch to make it three for the Brazilians.
With 15 minutes to go, a long ball from the back found Teko Modise on the right who delivered a wonderful cross to pick out Billiat and the Zimbabwean netted with a diving header to make it 4-1.
With Stars failing to close the Brazilians down, substitute Ngele intercepted a long throw by Diakite and made a solo run to go and beat the keeper making it 5-1.
Giovanni Solinas’s men continued to fight and they bagged their second when Venter turned provider when he delivered a cross on the right allowing substitute Hendrik Somaeb to finish.
HOME: Free State Stars
Coach: Giovanni Solinas
AWAY: Mamelodi Sundowns
Coach: Pitso Mosimane